The Los Angeles Angels recalled OF/2B Eric Young, Jr today. It’s a move precipitated by all-star Mike Trout ending up on the disabled list for the first time in his career.
Eric Young, Jr signed with the Los Angeles Angels in the offseason, hoping to give his major league career another shot. Baseball is after all, in his blood. His father Eric Young, Sr played from 1992 – 2006, also as a second baseman and outfielder.
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Young Jr. himself is a veteran of nine seasons with five teams. During that time, he has amassed 564 games played, so he will provide a stable presence in the Angels clubhouse. While no one has illusions of the .246 AVG career hitter filling Trout’s huge shoes, he has been a hot bat all season at Triple A Salt Lake.
Young isn’t just coming off your typical off season. Tragically, he and his wife, Victoria lost their newborn son in January of this year. Courageously, Young has tackled the grief head on. He shared with the LA Times Pedro Moura in March:
"“I’m trying to turn tragedy into triumph, and maybe inspire some people along the way who might be battling something just as devastating to them,” he said. “I’m not scared of the situation. I don’t shy from it. It’s one of the cards that’s been dealt to me, and I’m going to play it the best I can.“Hopefully, other people can work hard through just watching me.”"
Young carried that “play it the best I can” attitude into the 2017 season.
Undeterred by his assignment to the Los Angeles Angels Triple A squad, he arrived in Salt Lake City and started hitting. And then he continued to hit.
Now, regrettably due to the Angels superstar going down for 6-8 weeks has his chance. Young will get to show whether he can translate his .354 AVG and .419 OBP to the big league squad.
I know that I speak for all of us at Halo Hangout in wishing Eric Young Jr. all the best in his time in Anaheim. If the 32 year old can get on base and use his plus speed on the base paths and in the outfield, he will do more than just keep Trout’s spot warm for him while he is hurt.